USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC/JCC 20) -- Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Commander, Maj. Gen. John F. Sattler returned today from a three-day trip to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where he met with senior U.S. government representatives, Ethiopian military leaders and attended National Day ceremonies.
Sattler first visited Ethiopia in early January, meeting with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, to discuss cooperative efforts in the ongoing Global War on Terrorism.
Building on the foundation laid with Prime Minister Meles, Sattler met with the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, Lt. Gen. Samora Yunus, the Director of Operations, and the Director of Intelligence.
The leaders discussed the role of coalition partners in CJTF-HOA operations and ways to expand cooperation in terms of security, information sharing and the common goal of detecting, disrupting and ultimately defeating terrorism throughout the Horn of Africa region.
Sattler also had meetings with Tony Hall, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), Aurelia Brazeal, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia and Roger Winter, Assistant Administrator of the Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Bureau for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Talks with U.S. government officials focused on the CJTF-HOA role in contributing to the enhancement of long-term stability in the region through civil-military operations and support of international and non-governmental organization activities.
All parties agreed that efforts to reduce support for terrorism cannot rely solely on military force and that other coalition sources of power may be called upon - financial, diplomatic, political and legal.
National Day ceremonies, attended by Maj. Gen. Sattler as the senior U.S. military representative, focused on the dedication of the Mickey Leland memorial in Addis Ababa.
Leland, a six-term U.S. Congressman from Texas, was instrumental in focusing world attention on Ethiopia and other African nations through legislative initiatives as the Chairman, House Select Committee on Hunger.
Leland led a congressional delegation to assess relief requirements across Africa in 1984. Upon his return to the U.S., he brought together entertainment personalities, religious leaders and private agencies to generate support for the Africa Famine Relief and Recovery Act of 1985. That legislation provided $800 million in food and relief supplies, saving thousands of lives.
Leland died in plane crash in 1989 along with 10 others, on a relief mission to an isolated refugee camp in Ethiopia, which sheltered thousands of unaccompanied children.
Since arriving in the region late last year, CJTF-HOA officials have met with many heads of state, coalition military commanders and host nation officials, establishing a dialogue with key leaders throughout the Horn of Africa region.
The CJTF-HOA headquarters was formed to oversee operations in the Horn of Africa for U.S. Central Command in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
For this operation, CJTF-HOA is defining the Horn of Africa region as the total airspace, land areas and coastal waters of Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Yemen and Ethiopia.
Ethiopia, the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world, at more than 2,000 years, is a key coalition partner in the region given its central location. The country, which is slightly less than twice the size of Texas, with a population in excess of 67 million, has been a staunch supporter of CJTF-HOA efforts.
The CJTF headquarters has about 400 members aboard the USS Mount Whitney, currently operating in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean areas. The force also includes about 1,300 personnel at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti and a small number of liaison personnel working in other parts of the region.